Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Monday 5th December 2016, 8:28am
Hello from a mild and foggy Niseko. Poor visibility here this morning, down to village level.
There is no new snowfall to report.
It is an obvious thing to say of course, but we are very much in need of fresh snowfall. The courses that are open really need it with the mild weather over the last few days (and of course the courses not yet open also really need it!)
It seems that lower courses that had been open on the Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono side of the mountain are now having to close due to the snow conditions (Setsuzoku, Stairway to Heaven, Crystal Garden, Renraku).
The exciting news is that the forecast is looking very good starting from tonight and then basically through into at least next weekend. Lots of snowfall lined up in the coming week, so we all just hope that it happens like that. Might get stormy at times.
I look forward to bringing you heroic stories of required snow shovelling (something those of us who live here need to do before we can strap the skis or boards on!)
It is very early season yet but I have already received a 'complaint' from someone new to my reports, apparently over my 'lack of excitement'.
Well, I'm really not here to hype up my reports and give you some kind of distorted dream-like account of what is happening here. I'm here to provide reports on what the weather is doing, how much snow is falling and generally any related news I can.
And I do get very excited - when things call for genuine excitement. I may also have a little light-hearted moan or two if that's what conditions call for.
Bottom line, I love Niseko (and Japan in general) and I just want to share what is happening here with people visiting in an honest way. There's plenty marketing-speak brochures out there if you want to read one of them.
Anyway, I very much hope to be excited a lot this season. I'll try to keep it under control though! ;)
What is planned to be open today?
Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Lifts planned to be operating:
- Ace Family Pair - Ace Number 2 Center Four - Ace Number 3 pair - Hirafu Gondola - King Number 3 triple - Swinging Monkey - Hanazono 1 quad - Hanazono 2 quad - Hanazono 3 quad
Planned season dates for the four main Niseko United ski resorts:
Niseko Grand Hirafu: until Sunday 7th May 2017 Niseko Annupuri: until Sunday 7th May 2017 Niseko Hanazono: until Sunday 2nd April 2017 Niseko Village: until Sunday 2nd April 2017
Night skiing is planned from Saturday 10th December until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Annupuri, Grand Hirafu and Village resort areas. Read more ...
Monday 5th December 2016, 8:48am
Blue skies, some cloud
Hello and good morning from Hakuba.
As expected it was fine weather over the weekend. It was a beautiful and clear day on Saturday and after some blue skies at the start of the day yesterday lots of cloud moved in during the day.
This morning there's a bit of early morning low cloud remaining in places and a bank of white cloud around the mountain peaks, but there's lots of blue sky and sunshine.
Conditions remain mild and today it will probably warm up to about 12C in the village.
We want snow (of course!) and it looks like tomorrow should bring some. Yes, it's going to get colder and it should be snowing down to the village though it may start as rain.
Over the coming week there looks to be a good chance of some decent snow at higher elevations even if it might be raining at base.
Keep an eye on the forecasts, let's see how the coming week shapes up.
Here are the planned season opening dates for the ski and snowboard resorts in the Hakuba region. There are all subject to change depending on what happens weather-wise:
Hakuba Happo-one: as soon as there is enough snow Hakuba 47: as soon as there is enough snow Hakuba Goryu: as soon as there is enough snow Tsugaike Kogen: as soon as there is enough snow Hakuba Cortina: from 10th December Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: from 16th December Hakuba Norikura Onsen: from mid December Hakuba Sanosaka: from mid December
Reports will be posted daily once the lifts get moving. Read more ...
Monday 5th December 2016, 8:49am
There is a lot of cloud above Yuzawa this morning.
Right now nothing is falling from those skies but some forecasts have some rain due today. Let's hope it holds off. Just to the north of central Yuzawa the sun is peeking through the clouds in Minamiuonuma and there's even a bit of blue sky starting to appear.
It is remaining mild - currently 9C in town as we approach 9am - and so there's little hope of snow at the moment.
Things still look better from tomorrow though with colder conditions and snow due at town level and of course more at higher elevations. After that for the rest of the week it's a mix up of rain/snow low/high with a lot of course depending on how cold it can remain.
Up at Kagura it looks like the Panorama course is closed now so we're back to the main course, Technical Course, Giant Course and Gondola Course.
The list of resorts and planned opening dates has been updated below. Links to information on each of the resorts in the area can be found on the right hand side of the page. The official snow depth data is scheduled to begin in a week or two once the season gets going.
Cracking weather at the moment in Nozawa - just not the kind of cracking weather that we want!
The sun is out and there are clear blue skies all around and it is indeed a beautiful morning.
And we had fine weather over the weekend as well... Saturday was similar to this with more cloud yesterday.
So the mild conditions are continuing and while there's still snow on those upper slopes of the resort, it's looking rather thin on the ground.
Not to fear, snowfall looks like it's on the way, starting from tomorrow. It might start a bit wet tomorrow, but hopefully it will be snowing down to village level during the day tomorrow with things getting much colder. Further snow beyond tomorrow on higher elevations at least makes the forecast look fairly promising. We'll just have to see how it actually happens.
I'll report any snowfall!
Nozawa Onsen will open as soon as there is enough snow. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 5th December 2016, 8:56am
Fine weather, some cloud
Mild conditions in the region at the moment.
After a run of those kind of conditions we're all anxious to see when the snow is going to come. Tomorrow should see snow clouds back over the region along with a decent drop in temperatures as well and some clear skies on Wednesday aside, the forecast is positive (for snow) on and off through into the weekend.
Four resort areas of Shiga Kogen remain part open this morning, details below. Hopefully I'll be adding to that soon.
Areas of Shiga Kogen currently open:
Ichinose Family The Number 2 pair A lift is operating with the lower main course area open.
Kumanoyu The Number 2 pair lift is operating with a 600m long run open.
On Friday last week staff at the resort gathered and there was a safety-first kind of meeting-ceremony for the season as well as training going on. One of the signs that the start of the season is close-by.
Lots of fine weather at the moment though with some lovely blue skies on Friday and Saturday along with mild temperatures. The mountain is once again looking more green and brown than white as well.
Next blast of winter? Probably tomorrow and there's sign of further snow over the coming days into the weekend as well.
Less than 2 weeks now before Madarao Kogen hopes to open. We're into the serious period of needing to get that base sorted!
The official opening date for Madarao Kogen this season is Saturday 17th December. Read more ...
Monday 5th December 2016, 9:16am
The skiable terrain is quite extensive now for this time of year with the opening of Panorama Course at the top of the resort, and then the whole of Sailer Course back to the base of the ropeway. It was noticable at the weekend that the number of skiers suddenly increased with the opening of those courses. While there is plenty of snow around the most dominating factor of the last couple of days was the warm temperatures which brought spring snow conditions right to the top of the mountain. It felt more like skiing in late March than early December. The warm temperatures have really knocked back the snow around the village areas and roads are still a stream of water. The melt has been so significant that the tar seal of the roads is visible. Unfortunately the lower slopes of Kitanomine are patches of white and brown, so significantly more snow will be required before that side of the resort can open.
Today it is raining moderately with +3c at base and +1c at the top of the resort. The rain is forcast to continue today but we should see snow start falling tomorrow for a few days in a row. Cloud is rolling down the mountain so it is very foggy right now and with the warmth and rain it feels humid.